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londoncomment

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,376
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,393

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Viva Eleanor!

  • By Kaggy on 30-06-17

A most touching romance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-04-19

This is a most unusual romance story. Eleanor is deeply troubled and burdened from her childhood scars. We see how badly she copes with ordinary life. She tries to live an insular life. She judges all the people around her and they're all found wanting. But circumstances force her to connect with others and lead her to come to terms with herself.

I loved the way the romantic plot stumbles out and love and kindness conquer all.

The story is gripping and the narrator is superb. An extraordinary book.

  • About Last Night...

  • By: Catherine Alliott
  • Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 236

Molly has moved from London to Herefordshire chasing 'The Good Life.' She is living the country dream, apart from it isn't really her dream. It is her husband David's. And David is, well, rather dead now. When she's left an inheritance of a London townhouse, Molly dares to consider chucking it all in. But there's a problem. A tall, handsome problem. There is already a man living in Molly's new house. And when a face appears from her past, Molly is more confused than ever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. !!

  • By jill fraser on 15-03-17

Pretty good story ruined by choice of narrator.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-02-19

I've read all Catherine Alliott's previous books so I can call myself a fan. This wasn't her best, and the main character was irritatingly stupid at times. Yes, many romantic storylines rely on characters' lack of self-knowledge and misreading of signs that are clankingly obvious to anyone else. But this really went a bit too far.
The resolution at the end was lame with the conduct of the hero unsatisfactory and rather pathetic. I waited in vain for my heart to skip a beat.
What ruined the listening experience was the narrator. Not that she's inherently bad; I think she's actually a great narrator and did a very good job as far as she was able. It's just that she was WRONG for the job. As other reviewers have pointed out she was too old. We think Molly was in her 40s; here she sounded in her 70s and it was hard to get over the disconnect.
But still, I did get caught up in the story and stayed with it to the happy conclusion. But as I mentioned, I am a fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Break

  • By: Marian Keyes
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,140
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,138

The story of a relationship that everyone thought was forever and which is now in danger of being for never, The Break is about getting older and staying in love when life, real life, is trying to pull you apart.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly Disappointing

  • By Angela Marchi on 18-09-17

An absorbing story. Imperfect but worth 5 stars.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I've read all her novels but was slightly concerned about the number of disappointed Audible reviewers of this one.
This book isn't perfect. It could have been edited more sharply. Yet I was utterly engrossed throughout. I could really relate to the emotional swings that the protagonist Amy went through. At 19 hours it was a long book but I put off tasks in order to reach the next chapter. The characters feel real and are drawn insightfully. There were lots of interesting sub-plots. It was witty and humorous.
Looking back, it's easy to call the ending predictable, but I honestly wasn't sure how it would end until the 17-18 hour mark.
Aoife McMahon is a brilliant narrator. Yes, I did suspect the Geordie accent of being a bit off, but I could forgive her with her otherwise pitch perfect tone.

  • The Frozen Lake

  • A Vintage Mystery
  • By: Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Narrated by: Nicolette McKenzie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 217

Fabulous family saga of secrets held through two generations, set against the atmospheric background of the Lake District at Christmas. The year 1936 is drawing to a close. Winter grips Wetmoreland and causes a rare phenonmenon: The lakes freeze. For two local families, the Richardsons and the Grindleys, this will bring unexpected upheaval, as the frozen lake entices long-estranged siblings and children to return home for the holiday season.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicolette McKenzie is a fabulous narrator!

  • By MaMaMason on 21-02-16

Worth pursuing to the end - but only just...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-05-18

There was a very slow start. A whole catalogue of characters was introduced and it was very difficult to remember who was who. Or even care. The story was well-crafted and the story sped up in the last two hours - thank goodness.

My biggest problem was with the characters. There were quite a few sympathetic characters and a couple of pantomime villains. But they all felt as if they were, in fact, made up for a book. I couldn't emotionally engage with any of them.

The narrator was perfect for the job.


  • The Improbability of Love

  • By: Hannah Rothschild
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards, Jilly Bond
  • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 553

Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved Every Minute of It. Great Characters.

  • By bookylady on 02-04-16

Gripping story set in the 'Super Rich' Art World

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-01-18

There is so much to love about this story. It's gripping, sometimes surprising, and something of an insight into the world of super-rich art collectors.

The characters were well-drawn although the end effect was a fairly lightweight gallop through the events. Very entertaining read.

There were two narrators. The main one was the ubiquitous Jilly Bond. I can see why she gets the jobs. She's very professional, she can do a wide variety of accents, and distinguish between old and young characters. But her well of emotional expression is very shallow. Her breezy, chirrupy style of narration doesn't help you feel for the characters. And she always makes the male love interest sound lumpen and unsexy.

Barnaby Edwards was the second narrator. His performance was impeccable.

  • Love Notes for Freddie

  • By: Eva Rice
  • Narrated by: Liza Ross, Jessica Ball
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Marnie FitzPatrick is a reclusive sixth former from Hertfordshire with a dysfunctional family, a penchant for Pythagoras' theorem and an addiction to doughnuts and gin. Julie Crewe is a disillusioned maths teacher who lives vicariously through the girls she teaches, yet who once danced barefoot through Central Park with a man called Jo she has never been able to forget.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Offbeat rite of passage story set in the 60s.

  • By londoncomment on 19-10-17

Offbeat rite of passage story set in the 60s.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-10-17

I enjoyed this story; the characters were eccentric and the premise was unusual. It was good to be reminded of being a schoolgirl in the 60s and 70s.

It's a wistful love story with some unusual relationship triangles. At the end we learn not that love conquers all but strong characters will survive if they can transform themselves.

Written from the perspective of a teenage English girl and a Canadian woman teacher. Both parts were beautifully narrated by the respective actors.

  • Love on the Rocks

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101

When Lisa Jones and her boyfriend George take on the run-down Rocks Hotel, they aim to do for Mariscombe what Rick Stein did for Padstow and set up a chic maritime retreat. But renovating a hotel is about more than stripped wooden floors and Egyptian cotton sheets, particularly when the locals are shifty and unhelpful. Especially Bruno Thorne, the tall, dark and surly owner of the nearby Mariscombe Hotel, where life is one long holiday; for the staff, anyway.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story but let itself down in places

  • By Maggie on 17-05-15

Pleasurable chick-lit.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-06-17

Any additional comments?

This was a really well-crafted story. Several sub-plots with a satisfying ending. Veronica Henry's books are undemanding but pleasurable. I sometimes find Jilly Bond's chirpy, twittering narration intensely irritating. But here she raised her game and made you feel the characters' emotions: the pain as well as the joy.

  • A Vintage Wedding

  • By: Katie Fforde
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 371
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 333

Weddings, romance, humour ,and happy-ever-after endings. The deliciously romantic new novel from the number-one Sunday Times best-selling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair, and The Perfect Match.

In a small Cotswold country town, Beth, Lindy, and Rachel are looking for new beginnings. So they set up in business, organising stylish and perfectly affordable vintage weddings.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Annother winner from Katie Fforde

  • By Jess on 16-02-15

Likeable story ruined by narration.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-04-17

Would you listen to A Vintage Wedding again? Why?

No. There is little depth in it. On to the next.

What other book might you compare A Vintage Wedding to, and why?

Nearly all Katie Fforde's books are written on similar lines. Young woman finds herself living in village, a bit down at luck. She usually finds some way to discover or practise her creative or entrepreneurial skills. She meets a man and after a little bit of conflict, she ends up with him. In this book, we have 3 women for the price of one. It's a winning formula; I've read nearly all of them.

What three words best describe Jilly Bond’s performance?

Ruined the book (almost).

Any additional comments?

Jilly Bond is a competent and prolific narrator. But she's wrong for chicklit. She's way too chirpy overall, and in contrast makes the male love-interests sound so unappealing (oafish and lumpen). I think she just doesn't engage with the feel of the story. Publishers clearly disagree. She's done a few Katie Ffordes. I've noticed a few Veronica Henrys coming up in my library which I suspect she's spoiled, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Letter

  • By: Kathryn Hughes
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,920

The Number One Kindle best seller guaranteed to break your heart. Every so often a love story comes along to remind us that sometimes, in our darkest hour, hope shines a candle to light our way. Discover the Number One best seller that has captured thousands of hearts worldwide.... Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Sheila on 19-07-15

Good at the time, not so much afterwards.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-17

What about Rachel Atkins’s performance did you like?

Didn't interfere with the story. I felt she understood what the writer wanted.

Was The Letter worth the listening time?

Listening to this was like plunging into a box of chocolates, when you can't stop eating until you've got to the end. But when the box is finished, you're left with an uncomfortable feeling and some regrets. I was gripped by the story. Yes, I knew it was going to resolve itself satisfactorily but I had to keep moving quickly through it.
Afterwards, I felt empty. This was because the characters, although clearly delineated into good and bad, were very thinly drawn out. In themselves not that interesting. So ultimately, I felt I'd had too much sugar when I could have had a more nutritious meal.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Sarra Manning
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Julie Maisey
    
    


    
    Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
    173 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

  • By: Sarra Manning
  • Narrated by: Julie Maisey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

Girls like Neve Slater don’t get gorgeous guys like William. But William’s been in L A for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down in preparation for his return. Then her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess then she’d better get some experience - a man to show her the ropes, like Celia’s colleague Max. And since he’s not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Re-readable

  • By Raisa on 05-02-12

Superb character-driven chick lit.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Max. He was the perfect boyfriend - understanding and accepting and non-judgemental. But nobody seemed to realise it apart from us.

What about Julie Maisey’s performance did you like?

The narration was perfect. There was nothing that got in the way of the story. She made both the main character and the love interest sound attractive.

Any additional comments?

I particularly enjoyed the way the main character gradually discovered so much about herself.
Although we could all guess how this would end, exploring the route was so delicious. One of my favourite chick lit books.